Judge Peter A. Locascio, the Municipal Court Judge in Atlantic Highlands and Highlands, has been accused of Judicial Misconduct by the Disciplinary Counsel of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC). The complaint can be found here.
Locascio is accused of exhibiting “extreme and personal” hostility towards an attorney appearing before him starting in August of 2008 and extending through early 2013, for failing to rule on recusal motions by that attorney after he was ordered to do so by his Assignment Judge, of using the powers of his office to his personal benefit and of conflicts of interest in allowing his personal attorney, a close personal friend, to appear before his court.
The attorney involved was not named in the complaint. “It could be several people,” said one member of the Monmouth County legal community speaking off the record, “Locascio is known to be caustic and vindictive.”
A complaint by the ACJC disciplinary counsel is an indication that an investigation into the initial complaint produced enough evidence to warrant an hearing before the committee. If after the hearing the committee determines that the Judge did violate the Code of Judicial Conduct the matter is referred to the State Supreme Court for public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal. If the committee finds after its hearing that there is not clear and convincing evidence of Judicial Misconduct, it makes a recommendation to the Supreme Court to dismiss the complaint with or without private reprimand.